25 Really Strange Things Church Members Said to Pastors

It’s not a boring vocation.

If you serve as a pastor or church staff member, there is rarely a boring moment. A few years ago, I began polling pastors and church staff and collecting some really weird things church members said to them.

Here is my current top 25. I modified some to fit into a direct quote, but the essence remains. The words in italics are my own commentaries.

  1. “Will you bless me divorcing my husband so I can marry a convicted murder? God told me to do it”. Yes, I am sure that’s exactly what God said.
  2. Said to a pastor in his ordination council: “What is your view on Christian missions in space?” Space the final frontier . . . to boldly go where no man has gone before.
  3. After the church member had surgery: “Pastor, will you pray for me to pass gas.” Maybe there was a spontaneous answer to that prayer.
  4. “I want you to come see my display of nude art.” I’m still trying to find out what the pastor decided.
  5. During the offertory: “Pastor, do you have change for a twenty?” Probably a deacon.
  6. To a worship pastor after the service: “Here’s the bulletin. I graded each song based on how worshipful it was.” Thank you. We will be sending you your grades on how much the church staff likes you.
  7. “Can we put the children’s moment back in the bulletin? I know we don’t have any children but the old folks like it.” Yes, we will alternate it every week with the senior moment.
  8. “I use to be a warlock.” Was that before or after you became a deacon?
  9. Just before the service began: “Pastor, there’s no toilet tissue in the women’s restroom.” Makes you wonder what she would have said if the pastor was in the women’s restroom replacing toilet tissue.
  10. “Thank you for shaving your facial hair, because the Bible forbids it.” You’re right. It’s right there in the Bible at Hezekiah 3:16.
  11. “My husband’s ashes are in two different places. Will Jesus be able find him? It’s amazing what your husband did to get away from you.
  12. “Pastor, help me cut this Coke can. I need an ashtray for the fellowship hall.” Yes, things go better with Coke.
  13. In the middle of the service, a woman asks: “Pastor, aliens visited me. Is God okay with that?” You are mistaken. They were Jehovah Witnesses, not aliens.
  14. “Pastor, I need you to come get rid of the secret agents spying on me from my attic.” The pastor remembers learning how to deal with this situation from his seminary training.
  15. “Is it okay for me to lie if I ask for forgiveness in advance?” Definitely a Southern Baptist.
  16. “Will you come to my house and help get my husband off the toilet?” Ma’am, all husbands like to spend extended time there. Have him take two aspirins and call me tomorrow.
  17. Church member: “Pastor, will you pray for my son? He’s wild and out of control.” Pastor: “Sure, what’s his name?” Church member: “Maverick.” I guess we should be thankful his name is not “Homicide.”
  18. “I have the spiritual gift of extortion.” Another Southern Baptist.
  19. “Preacher, I have some moonshine for your cough. Feel free to stop by the house.” That’s one pastoral visit he made that week.
  20. “Will you play George Jones songs in the service today?” I’m sorry, we’re doing all Bee Gees today.”
  21. “The guitars sound like two cats mating.” I don’t thing that’s a compliment.
  22. “I want you to know if this church fails, it’s not your fault.” Gotta love those church members with the gift of encouragement.
  23. To the pastor in the men’s restroom: “So, pastors have to go too, huh? And what did you think before this moment?
  24. “Pastor, I have some extra Vicodin. Would you like some?” Probably not, but thank you for thinking of him.
  25. “Pastor, pray for me. I’m going to Vegas.” I bet double or nothing he didn’t pray for her.

Yes, church members say the darnedest things. Do you have any to add?

Posted on April 12, 2017

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • Pastor Brent says on

    I was 26 and had just taken over a small church and was invited to an area pastors meeting/luncheon…
    One of the older pastors asked when I arrived- What church do your parents pastor? Um- I’m the pastor, and my are not in ministry…

    I was visiting a church with my wife, someone came up to me- Oh pastor- is this your daughter? (referring to my wife)… I took it as a complement, considering my wife is 9 years older than me…

  • One of the best stories I’ve heard was by Pastor David Yonggi Cho, who has the largest church in So Korea. Once in the middle of the night a couple from his church called and asked him to come over and pray a prayer of release over them so they could divorce. The Pastor said, “please let me sleep and call me in the morning.” The man said, “it will be too late then. We need you to come now because we have our suitcases packed and we are ready to leave the house as soon as you pray over us.”

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